Appealing your real estate tax assessment is something that all Maryland homeowners should be thinking of as we near the beginning of another new tax year. For those who have or will be purchasing and closing on Maryland real estate within the next month it is possible that the tax assessment for the property you are purchasing is substantially higher that the appraised value of the property. If that is the case then you really need to appeal your tax assessment IMMEDIATELY after closing. The appeal process is not that difficult, and depending on the value of your property, could save you a substantial sum of money on your tax bill.
The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation has a really good website that will give you the guidance you need to assist you in appealing your property tax assessment.
For a copy of the Petition for Review of Real Property go here
When can you appeal your taxes?
- Upon receipt of assessment
- By petition for review
- Upon purchase between January 1 and June 30
How do I file the Appeal?
Step 1- Supervisors Level
You will present your case to the assessor at this level. You will have completed the necessary appeal application and will be in possession of any supporting documentation that you feel is beneficial to your appeal. You are going to want to present to the assessor as much information as possible to support your case.
In the case of a new purchase you will probably want to present a copy of your contract of sale, your settlement statement, your appraisal and any other document that will indicate to the assessor that your property is being over assessed.
Step 2- PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL BOARD
Following the hearing, you will receive a final notice. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the next step which is to the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board. The second step appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date of the final notice from the Supervisor of Assessments.
There is an independent appeal board comprised of 3 local residents in each of the counties and Baltimore City. Property owners generally need no assistance at this step, no fees are required, and they are free to present any supporting evidence. You can obtain a list of the comparable properties that will be used by the assessment office before the Board if you file a written request to the assessment office at least 15 days before the scheduled date of the hearing.
Step 3- MARYLAND TAX COURT
If you are dissatisfied with the decision made by the Appeal Board, you can file an appeal within 30 days of the date of the board's decision to the Maryland Tax Court. The Maryland Tax Court is an independent body appointed by the Governor. Although the proceedings are more formal than the first 2 levels, it is still considered to be an informal, administrative hearing. Property owners who are in disagreement with the Tax Court's decision can appeal further through the regular judiciary system. Here you will probably need legal counsel.
If you are successful in your appeal and if your have a mortgage on your property which payment consists of Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance, (PITI) you will want to make your lender aware of the new SMALLER tax bill amount so that a review of your escrow account can be completed and a revised payment amount can be calculated to reflect the smaller tax bill.
If you are in doubt about the current assessment of your property you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact information and the property address and we will be happy to try to assist you in determining the current assessment on your property